June 6, 2022 at 12:58 pm #25932MegParticipant
So bluebirds made a nest a couple months ago but they seemed to abandon it. I had stopped checking it but left the nest just in case. I’ve seen them back recently so I checked today and there are several eggs. They’re sneaky! But also the nest is now infested with ants. They are just little black ants. Will they harm the babies? Should I try to get rid of them? I don’t want to accidentally harm the eggs.June 6, 2022 at 2:45 pm #25934tamseaModerator
Yes. Definitely get rid of them. See what others say but I would put some sort of ant control at the bottom of your pole like Sevin. Also I would put 1/4 tsp under the nest. It’s safe used like that. Purple Martin landlords use it all the time in their nests for mites. Get the 5% Sevin dust with *Carbaryl* in it. There’s one similar with a different active ingredient and you don’t want that.
If you’re totally against using this then you are going to need to do what I said at the bottom of the pole and also do a nest change. Make sure there are no ants crawling up the pole either.
TammyJune 6, 2022 at 10:38 pm #25935Carol – Mid-Mo.Participant
Tammy is right – need to get rid of them. With lots of ants they can harm the babies especially. In order to avoid getting them to begin with, I grease the pole with heavy axle grease (will not wash away) on the bottom for about six inches and also just under the nestbox – the ants cannot crawl over this grease protection and you need not use anything else in the way of pest control. Good luck. P.S. This heavy grease also deters crawling critters like cats, raccoons, etc.June 7, 2022 at 8:35 pm #25936SkyonitsbackParticipant
Carol, can you provide a link for “heavy axle grease”? What a great idea!June 8, 2022 at 3:40 pm #25953David in Stafford,VAParticipant
You can also use lithium grease that comes in a tube and looks like white toothpaste. You can find it in the auto supply section of places like Walmart, and at the auto supply stores. Use it just like Carol said.
Lucas White Lithium Grease on Amazon
- This reply was modified 1 year, 5 months ago by David in Stafford,VA.
Stafford, VAJune 8, 2022 at 7:36 pm #25955Carol – Mid-Mo.Participant
Sky, I do not have a link to the “heavy axel grease” – hubby uses it and buys it at a hardware store I believe. But David’s grease should be just fine, although I’m not familiar with it. Main thing is that it should not wash away with the first rain! (which would be every day here in my area!!!)June 9, 2022 at 10:07 am #25997JulieParticipant
Carol and Dave, thank you for sharing about the type of grease to use and how exactly to do it! I’ve researched this and never found the answer. Everyone says “grease the pole” and all I can think of is Crisco! Ha. I know that’s not right. Fyi the Gilbertson guy also says to use auto wax on the metal poles for the climbing critters. The wax makes it slippery.
- This reply was modified 1 year, 5 months ago by Julie.
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